Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

Content Description

1 online resource (vii, 278 pages) : color illustrations, color maps.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Lance F Bosart

Committee Members

Daniel Keyser, Ryan D Torn, Morris C Weisman


Great Lakes, MCS, Convection (Meteorology), Atmospheric circulation, Water temperature, Atmospheric thermodynamics

Subject Categories

Atmospheric Sciences | Meteorology


This study focuses on how near-surface thermal boundaries that form near the Great Lakes during the warm season can contribute to the formation of mesoscale convective systems (MCSs). Differential heating across land-water interfaces can create a cold dome of air over the lake; convection may develop when the relatively-cold dome of air becomes deep enough to enable air parcels that intersect these boundaries to reach their level of free convection. A radar-based climatology of MCS events surrounding the Great Lakes for 2002-2005 showed that MCSs frequently form in the vicinity of the Great Lakes. Composites of MCS events over the Great Lakes and in sub-regions defined by proximity to a Great Lake showed that the most important synoptic-scale precursor for MCS initiation is the presence of a low-level moisture plume, which is often (but not always) provided by a low-level jet (LLJ).